Jim Wood comments on Texas Clean Energy Project

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“It’s a good project and all the elements are there.”

June 11, 2015; original story by Corey Paul, In the Pipeline

Jim Wood picture director US China Energy Center

Director U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center at West Virginia University

Morgantown, W.Va. – Corey Paul writing for “In the Pipeline” reported Summit Power Group expects to finalize contracts next week for the clean coal plant planned near Penwell, Texas leaving a final step of closing deals with private investors by September 30 for the multi-billion dollar project to materialize.

If that timeline holds, the long-delayed project could start spending the estimated $2.5 billion required to build the plant and satisfy requirements of the Department of Energy, which granted about $450 million for the project, wrote Paul.

Plans call for the 400-megawatt facility to capture 90 percent of the carbon dioxide it produces by burning coal and then sell that to the oil companies for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) operations. EOR remains common even as new drilling activity slows, but Miller said long-term agreements with oil companies to buy the CO2 meant the oil price drop does not affect the revenue stream Summit anticipates.

“The Summit guys have a lot to do between now, and I suppose early September and I think DOE has a lot to do as well,” said Jim Wood, director of the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center at West Virginia University. “The closer you get towards this deadline, you start thinking ‘If I let them spend another $5 million, and they can’t get this thing built, what’s going to happen then?’”

Wood, who served as deputy assistant secretary of energy, specializing in clean coal, from 2009 to 2012. , said the country needs a project to stimulate interest in carbon capture and sequestration, “or we are not going to find ourselves in real good shape when the price of natural gas goes up.”

And the Texas Clean Energy Project stands out as the furthest along of any other efforts underway, with the best chance of proving up the technology as commercially viable, Paul reported.

 “It’s a good project,” Wood said. “And all the elements are there.”

See full story: “In the Pipeline.”